The newspaper man who lost his foot on 22/7

This mobile snapshot keeps fascinating me. I snapped it on my way out from work 8 August when Oslo was still full of roses after so many had showed their support for the victims of 22/7 by leaving roses all over town.

As some of you will know, this is just in front of VG's headquarters, and the statue, who lost his foot in the bomb attack, sits just across the street from the Government Headquarters were the bomb went off. Still, I'm thinking there must be so many meanings one can read into this photo:


This is a printing office

I found this fascinating sign via Jackie Danicki's blog ages ago, but looking through my picture archive this morning it made me pause to think about how much journalism has changed since it moved online and all the debates about print vs online media. If I stared at it a bit longer I would probably come up with a really inspired blog post, but no time for that this morning so instead I'm sharing it here so I won't forget (this blog being one of the best back-ups of my brain that I have;-) ):


The winter it REALLY snowed in Norway

Doesn't it always snow in Norway during winter? Well yes, most of the time, but this winter has been exceptional, so much so that we've experience conditions almost similar to those seen in the UK whenever there is even very light snowfall.

At the start of this year I was contacted by BBC Scotland who wanted to go to Oslo to do a story on how Norwegians were coping with the snow on the premise that the Scots probably had one or two things to learn from Norwegians when it came to dealing with snow. That is true, in the years I lived in the UK I always thought it ridiculous how even a few thin patches of snow could bring all public transport to a standstill, so when I agreed to set up the interviews for BBC's visit neither I nor they had any idea this would be the result:


You need to click on this link, or the one above, to see the video. It's great fun, but I'm afraid there's not really many lessons for the Scots in there.

However, now that the winter finally seems to be coming to an end here - the snow is melting and it's spring equinox this weekend - here's the few photos from the winter the amount of snow reached industrial propportions Norway (in Oslo we've had several warm winters with little snow until the winter of 2008/9, when we almost ran out of places to put all the snow cleared away from roads and public places, but it still proved to be nothing compared to 2009/10):

Once there was a car...


a car window...


and even a door...


And yes, this winter I also found myself snowed in on one occasion, when visiting a relative only 33 kilometers from Oslo, and had to clear mountains of snow to get to the car. Last winter, we only reached the point that local authorities had to put up signs to prevent people from dumping more snow in the sea:


Now, I'm so glad it's finally spring... 


(all photos by me, the difference in quality is down to some being captured with my mobile phone camera and the latter two with my Canon Powershot)

Once upon a blue moon

Well this isn't really a blue moon, only a recent winter day with a bluish cast - but the full moon on New Year's eve will be blue, at least metaphorically speaking. However, my only reason for stating that is to have a timely excuse to post this picture: I'm all buried in deadlines right now, but had I the time I would really have loved to go exploring the wonderful winter light with a better camera than this (my Nokia N79). It's really freezing outside though, -15 degrees Celsius today and they say it'll only go colder, so perhaps it's for the better that I am holed up inside:

Update 30.12.2009, 10:33 CET: Actually, I am corrected in the comments below: this is supposedly a blue moon as the photo is captured on Boxing day. With that in mind, perhaps I'll make an extra effort to get a shot of the moon tonight and tomorrow as well...


Happy Holidays!

I was dead set on getting those Christmas cards in the post this year, then along came a nasty spell of flu and aborted most of my Christmas preparations.

Ah well, Christmas, or Yule, is upon us tonight, and I guess I'll just have to save those cards for next year's snail mail - if I haven't given up on snail mail alltogether by then (last year I had very serious plans of getting those very same cards to the post office, but ended up sending my seasonal greetings via email by way of a picture card not dissimilar to the one below). 

And now Christmas dinner is being served here, so time to wish you all a very happy season filled with joyful celebrations!!!


Photo by me from Stavern's naval base Fredriksvern.

Friday Caption Contest

Actually, it's more of an excuse to publish a photo I snapped a while back and rather like. It's of a statue of the legendary naval officer Tordenskjold (also spelled Tordenskiold, in english "Thundershield"), and there's an interesting idiom related to this guy (see below the photo):


I quite like the phrase Tordenskiolds soldater (the soldiers of Tordenskiold), meaning that it is the same people you see everywhere: in the media and as boardmembers of companies, associations etc.

The phrase comes from Tordenskiold's siege of Karlsten-Marstrand, when Tordenskiold invited the commander of the fortress to inspect his troops which were lined up in the city streets below the fortress. The commander went through all the streets in town and everywhere he saw soldiers lined up. He realised that he did not have a chance against Tordenskiold, so he decided to surrender under the condition that all his troops were allowed to leave the fortress unharmed. In reality, as soon as the Swedish commander had inspected them, Tordenskiold's soldiers ran around the corner and lined up in another street where the commander then inspected the same troop for the second or third time (I've heared several different versions of this story, but all relate how Tordenskiold tricked the Swedes by making them believe his troop was much bigger than what was the case).


I'd like to say I got loads of writing done, but, truth be told, it was more a case of attending to the eclectic reading the guy pictured here would tolerate inbetween long walks and play time (dog sitting all weekend, and doesn't Duke look every bit as noble as his name implies here?)


More photos here

How to get somewhere these days

Originally uploaded by Kristine_Lowe

I have to disappoint you if you thought this post would give any insights into climbing social ladders or getting ahead in life.

I'm thinking of the the more trivial, yet important matter, of getting from point A to B these days - easier said than done in light of the weather the last few weeks.

I'm currently based at a seaside resort which town centre is so tiny it's normally overkill to use anything but your legs to go somewhere. That's all changed with the truckloads of snow we've had recently: here's why I'm keeping my head in a book this weekend. Okay, my bank accounts are all in the red, but even if that wasn't the case my skiing skills are more than a little bit rusty - and that IS the safest way to get around town at the moment, provided, of course, you don't have one of these handy:


Here's to 2009....

A tad late, I know, but 2008 was a trying year for me - I met some great people, was partly given/partly created some brilliant opportunities, had a few adventures, but was also presented with what at times seemed like unnecessary and unsurmountable challenges - so I needed a bit of a break before summing up the year past and welcoming the new one.

What pulled me through the rough patches was, to a large extent, this blog, or rather the funny, irreverent, insightful, thought-provoking comments and links it spurred - in other words: you guys and gals - and all the great friends I'm blessed with. Now, when I suggested in this post that social media can be of great help in turbulent times Adriana, who kicked me into the blogosphere in the first place by setting up this blog for me as a gift in 2005, pointed out that what I really was saying was that people were of great comfort at such times, not social media.

I still think social media makes a huge difference, though perhaps it would have been more precise to say the ambient intimacy social media offers/facilitates is what makes the difference, to use a term coined by Lisa Reichelt (in short, ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn't usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible).

Anyway, I wish you all much joy and success in the year ahead of us. This is what coming from 2008 to 2009 looks like to me right now. The first photo is from a lovely winter day in the forest at Tranby (more here):


This shot is from Corntin Bay, Stavern, today:


And like Duke, pictured below, I'll definently be scouting for new opportunities in 2009, albeit of a slightly different nature than him (I've also got a few interesting projects up my sleeve which I'll return to shortly):


My favourite reporting trips of the year

I had a zillion posts I wanted to blog this Christmas, but soon found I was in more of a contemplative mood once I got through all of the family business.

So, inspired by Lloyd I thought I'd sum up the year, if not month-by-month in pictures, at least with pictures from my favourite reporting trips this year.

Now, those who know me well might notice that I've included almost all my major trips out of town this year - save Skup in Tönsberg (we were travelling with a professional photograper) and London in February (had great talks with Adam, Richard, Per Mikael Jensen, got to work in what is now Alistair Heath's office, saw the insides of Google HQ London, attended a VRM meeting, met Doc Searls - but a spell of flu clouded my judgement and I only uploaded a few pics to the walled garden that is Facebook)- but they will also recognise this is the change addict/adventurer in me speaking (I'd say the only thing that makes living in Norway tolerable is going abroad every so often, and, as it so happens, I've seen precious little of Norway, so this year's opportunities to see more of the country has also been adventures of sorts).

Nordic Media Festival - Bergen

NordiskeMediedager08 017 

Save from the pictures from the price cermony, which are copyrighted, I came home from this festival with an awful lot of pictures of men in suits.

World Association of Newspapers' (WAN) Congress/ World Editors Forum (WEF) - Gothenburg

Interesting conference, foremostly for the great conversations I had after hours. A few pictures from Timothy Balding's talk on the glorious state of the newspaper industry here, and from the party here (I wrote a blog post from this memorable evening as well). But my favourite photo from the event - not for its technical brilliance, but for its expressiveness - is Reuter's Ilicco Elia explaining how mobile phones may be used for "pocket journalism" (this photo is copyrighted to


Kvinesdal Emigration Festival 2008


I took some 200 photos during my exotic weekend in Kvinesdal in July - where I covered the annual emigration festival for Viking Magazine (published by Sons of Norway, US) - and have uploaded some of them to Flickr, including pics of Hanne Krogh, Secret Garden, Bjøro Haaland and Ted Fosberg (more to follow in January).

The Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC) 2008 - Lillehammer

GIJC08Lillehammer 0441 

Turned out investigative journalists make pretty decent musicians, or as Jude said: there might even be a correlation between investigative skills and musical talent. You can see the slideshow of my more informal pictures from the event here ( click on the photos for subtitles ).

Reykjavik (December)


A very sombre end to the year in Reykjavik, where I was parachuted off to do a story on how the financial crisis has affected Icelandic media (the Norwegian stories from that trip are here and here). I worked with a very competent photographer for the trip, Haldur Jonasson, formerly of both Nyhedsavisen and Frettabladid + haphazardly snapped a few photos myself (the one here and a few more at Flickr) - though I wish I'd had more time to explore the place with my camera. Everyone I met there were extremly accomodating and helpful, but in terms of the state of the media it was surreal: nobody seemed to know who actually owned the newspapers they worked for, everything was in a state of flux. 

Flying home

Rekjavik 064

Rekjavik 065

Delays, delays and more delays: due to snow and "challenging" weather conditions I spent the whole day travelling. But the delays meant I got to snoop around a bit more in the tax free, and once we got above the fog the weather at least looked wonderful. Click on the images for full size.



My mobile phone camera is much better than I thought it was - too bad it's the only thing that's good about the phone. Here's another shot from the boat harbour in Stavern:


Painting the sky


Korntin Bay yesterday evening (photoshopped version: the original was pretty, but not quite so pink)


Korntin Bay tonight (slightly photoshopped)

The original photo of Korntin tonight: the ambience was eerie, but beautiful.

Why all these landscapes? Leaving for Oslo tomorrow afternoon, so no more walks by the sea for a while. Not that I've spent my time by the seaside thus, just some nice strolls after work...

Closed for the season

Stavern 027

Looks like the summer IS over. Most of the seasonal haunts were all borded up and closed, like this one, when I finally found time for a non-working weekend by the seaside. Ah well, still pretty though (and a lot cheaper this way)...

A penny for your thoughts

Kvinesdal 141

I'm imagining this guy wasn't all too happy to have photographers crawling in front of the stage. The shot is from a recent Secret Garden gig during a festival I covered. I'm going through all my photos this weekend, and this is one I won't be using. It hardly satisfies the magazine criteria in terms of quality and smiley, happy people, but it does speak volumes - caption ideas anyone?

A room with a view

Kvinesdal 022downsized

The view from my hotel room in Kvinesdal this weekend, where I was covering a big festival. I came back with some 400 photos, but after working from 7am to 11pm for three days in a row, I'm still struggling to convince my body that neither Mondays nor Tuesdays are part of the weekend - with limited success, I might add.